A food allergy is an abnormal immune response to food. Certain seeds, including sesame and mustard seeds, also are common food allergy triggers and considered a major allergen in some countries. A food allergy reaction occurs when your immune system overreacts to a food or a substance in a food, identifying it as a danger and triggering a protective response.
The signs and symptoms include itchiness, swelling of the tongue, vomiting , diarrhea, trouble breathing, or low blood pressure. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may involve the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, the cardiovascular system and the respiratory tract. When the symptoms are severe it is known as anaphylaxis.
The primary way to manage a food allergy is to avoid consuming the food that causes the problems. We should carefully check ingredient labels of food products, and learn whether what we need to avoid is known by other names. If the food is accidentally ingested and a systemic reaction occurs, then epinephrine should be used. Other treatments include: antihistamines, and steroids .
According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011. More than 17 million Europeans have a food allergy, and hospital admissions for severe reactions in children have risen seven-fold over the past decade